February 27, 2011 in Features

Book Notes: GU Writers Series plays host to Moody

By The Spokesman-Review

Gonzaga University’s Visiting Writers Series presents its biggest name of the year on Wednesday: Rick Moody.

Moody is the author of the novels “Garden State,” “Purple America,” “The Diviners” and, most recently, “The Four Fingers of Death.”

He is perhaps best known for his 1994 novel, “The Ice Storm,” which was made into an acclaimed 1997 film with Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver and Tobey Maguire, directed by Ang Lee. It’s about a tumultuous family gathering in Connecticut.

The Village Voice has called Moody the “self-styled avenging angel of highbrow literary cool.” NPR described “The Four Fingers of Death” as “dense, provocative and often hilarious.”

Moody’s readings are events in themselves. He’ll do a question-answer session at 1:10 p.m. at GU’s Wolff Auditorium and the reading at 7:30 p.m. in the Cataldo Globe Room. Both events are free.

An Estby summit-reading

Many Spokane readers are familiar with “Bold Spirit: Helga Estby’s Forgotten Walk Across Victorian America,” by local author Linda Lawrence Hunt.

This book about Spokane-area mother and daughter Helga and Clara Estby’s epic 1896 cross-country walk was an immediate hit when it first came out in 2003.

But did you know there are two novels soon to be released, based on the same subject?

One is “The Year We Were Famous” (Clarion Books, $16.99) by Carole Estby Dagg, a great-granddaughter. It’s scheduled for release April 4, aimed at the young-adult market.

The other is “The Daughter’s Walk: A Novel” (WaterBrook Press, $14.99) by Bend, Ore., author Jane Kirkpatrick, due out on April 5.

We mention this because all three authors are planning a joint program April 23 at Auntie’s Bookstore, 402 W. Main Ave.

Dagg said they are like “the writer’s equivalent of the Three Tenors – same score, different audiences and interpretations.”

We’ll let you know details when we get them.

Two new historical works

• Cheney writer John Soennichsen’s new book, “The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882” (Greenwood, $35), hits the street Monday.

This book is about a momentous piece of legislation that limited Chinese immigration, with enormous repercussions in the West and the rest of the country. It’s part of “The Landmarks of the American Mosaic,” a historical series about the nation’s multicultural heritage.

Soennichsen is the author of the fine “Bretz’s Flood” (Sasquatch, $16.95) about our region’s geology.

• Orofino, Idaho, writer Lin Tull Cannell’s new book is now out: “The Intermediary: William Craig Among the Nez Perces” (Ridenbaugh Press, $15.95).

It traces the life and times of Craig, a fur trapper who lived and worked with the Nez Perce tribe beginning in the 1830s and was involved in a great deal of the region’s history until his death in 1869.

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